You may just want to wait and see Timrhu. They just may breathe a bit more and extend a bit more. If you are satisfied with the overall sonic performance, I would try them in the new room, as the price is right too! If you are looking for more bottom end I have tried a few, such as the Soliloquy 6.2's (the 6.2's were recommended over the 6.3's in a smaller room) which will give you deeper bass, however not as tuneful in the bass, nor as rewarding in the mids IMHO.
I have heard good remarks on the Totem line, however have no experience personally and unsure of what they sell for used. Good luck.
If warm means "non-fatiguing" and not forward sounding, you might want to consider a pair of Quad ESLs. I have a 15 by 13 room. I just got a Portal Panache. It is a very nice match with my Quads. The midrange combination of the Panache and Quads is quite good.
though there are always exceptions to the rule, A two way driver design quite often comes off as sounding warmer than a 3 way or multiple driver design. audiofankj is right when he says to wait and see how they sound in the new room.
I have not compared Dynaudios directly to the Meadowlarks. I like the Dynaudio line in general because the tweeter is not harsh but not rolled off and the midrange is well balanced, if a bit forward. There is no substitute for listening yourself, but I recommend you audition the Dynaudios. The Audience line should be in your price range.
This is pretty much a no brainer. Try the Vandersteen 2Ce Signatures. I have compared the speakers side by side and the Vandersteen's are more open and definitely more extended on the bottom. The overall sound is warmish. Both speakers are first order designs and they will sound similiar through the mids. The 2Ce Sig has a bolder, bigger sound. The Kestrel sounds a little closed in in comparison.
Definitely a worthwhile upgrade and bigger than many would suspect.
If you can get the opportunity to listen to a pair of Harbeth's, do it. They definately are a warm, but acturate, speaker and will work well in this size room. I am currently using a pair of the ES 7's, in nearly an identically sized room as you described.
All the best.
I have become a fan of Danish and Italian speakers and would highly recommend speakers form the Opera or Sonus Farber lines if you have an amp that will do well with 4 ohms.
Timrhu - I like most, but not all of the advice of Bigtee & Audiofankj. I owned the Soliloquy 6.2i's (not sure of the sonic differences of the older 6.2 version versus the 6.2"i" version), and while they were "ok" speakers, the bass response in my system was poor. I do agree that staying with what you have should be a consideration, or, if you are like me, and want to experiment a bit, you probably can't go wrong with Bigtee's suggestion of Vandersteen 2Ce's (if you are ok with the 2Ce's aesthitics).
Yeah, if the Meadowlarks are going to be retired, I would agree with Bigtee on the Vandy's over the Soliloquy's for what its worth.
I briefly owned a pair of 2CE sigs. I was the only bidder on an ebay auction. They were way too big for my room so they never received a thorough audition. I also had a pair of Shearwater Hot Rods but sold them when we moved into this apartment while waiting for our home. The Vandy's will be at the top of my list but they are physically imposing. You guys will think I'm nuts but my very first post on Audiogon was asking if anyone tried them without the socks. Not as a sonic tweak but just to reduce their over bearing physical appearance. After doing a little research on their build structure, it's still a possibility if a cosmetically challenged pair were available at a good price. I would like to see Vandersteen build the 2CE with a more room friendly orientation. Thanks.
Yes, indeed, the Vandys are one homely speaker. Hasn't changed appearance since 1982 or before. They're made for music reproduction and not looks which is why I haven't considered them for the last 17 years. They also like some power as do many of the Totems.
You could check out (with a little expanded budget) used Harbeth C7-ES2s and also Spendor 3/1s and 2/3s. I think the 2/3 is a better speaker than the 3/1 with a more open and clear presentation but still nice and warmly musical.
Oh yeah, check out Vienna Acoustics speakers. They are on the warm side and quite easy to drive. And the wood working is just gorgeous, especially the new Grand series.
I agree with Tomryan %100. The Vienna Acoustics.
My Tannoy Revolution 3's have been compared to your Kestrals in some mags in the past. I'm using my Tannoy's in a room 17X35. They're being pushed by an HK 730. They could use a bit more bottom impact, but otherwise they fill the room fine. Take your Kestrals with you and see how they sound.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll have to research the Vienna Acoustics line. There was a dealer who sold them here in Indianapolis a couple of years ago but he's closed up shop. No matter what I decide, the Kestrels will stay with. Of all the speakers I've owned, and I've owned a few, they are my sentimental favorite; just alot of fun to listen to.
Research begins now.
If you like the Kestrals, move up to the Blue Heron 2's: you can get a super deal on them these days ( I've seen them for around $5000. on A'gon) and they should give you everything you want and more. I owned mine for a couple of years and enjoyed them immensely.
It appears you've eliminated another pair of Shearwaters as a possibility--I'm curious as to why. It seems like an obvious choice.
>I'll get a larger listening room (13X14).<
If this is larger, what are you using now, a closet?
Ozzy62, actually it's pretty close to that. We moved into an apartment and I was lucky to have a space at all. We'll be moving into our home soon where I could adopt a larger room but that would require sharing the room with a tv or other activity. The room alloted to listening is an unoccupied bedroom soley dedicated to my system. Over the years I have decided that listening is best with about eight feet between ears and speakers. I like the focus this provides at reasonable levels.
Tobias, I believe we have discussed the Shearwater on previous threads. When we moved here I sold them because I didn't want them just sitting in a closet. They are on my list of possibilities. Although I never considered them a "warm" speaker, their sonic characteristics are attractive. My problem with the Shearwaters was placement issues. Also I didn't care for the light ash finish of my pair.
"They're made for music reproduction and not looks which is why I haven't considered them for the last 17 years."
May I quote you Tomryan? That is one of the most profound (and revealing?) statements from a fellow audiophile I've heard. ;-)
I forgot about this thread. As I always like to know the outcome of these things here's what I ended up with.
After quite a lot of research I chose a pair of Polk Audio LSi-15s. Although they are a tad larger than I'd like, they make beautiful music for the price. The Kestrels are in the closet as I can't see letting them go.